Grace, mercy, and peace. “Grace and peace” is a normal greeting for Paul, but isn’t it interesting that only in the Pastorals does this third word, mercy, show up in his greeting?
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:2)
And then again in 2 Timothy:
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:2)
To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 1:4)
Mercy. Everybody needs it. But why does it show up only in the Pastorals? I’m not sure, but maybe it is because God knows preachers, especially, need mercy.
Mercy because we fail.
Mercy because the pressures on us can be so great.
Mercy because we are exposed to so much truth and are therefore more accountable.
Mercy because we are teachers of others and therefore face greater condemnation when we mess up.
Mercy because we are in a position to cause others to stumble.
Mercy lest we, having preached to others, should become castaways.
Mercy so that we can share with sinners what we ourselves have tasted and drunk so deeply of (1 Timothy 1:12-17).
Grace, Mercy, and Peace.